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Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2004

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Irving's views based on 'vomit-inducing theories', says Cullen

CONTROVERSIAL historian and holocaust denier David Irving views are based on "vomit-inducing" paranoid theories, Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Irving has offered a US$1000 ($1550) reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals behind the desecration of Jewish graves in a Wellington cemetery last Friday.

He has also claimed that "80 per cent, of all such worldwide outrages investigated and solved by the authorities over the last few years have turned out to be perpetrated by disordered members of the Jewish community themselves".

Irving wants to come to New Zealand to speak about his controversial views, but will need ministerial permission to do so.

Irving said as a citizen of Britain he understood he was entitled to come to New Zealand for six months without a visa.

If the New Zealand Government tried to prevent him from coming it would face "the mother of all legal battles", he told National Radio.

"That's what the courts are there for, to right injustices."

Dr Cullen (right) said he had listened to Irving speaking in a radio interview and was not impressed.

"I don't think he has made a strong case that he has anything great to contribute... it would be very hard to argue, I would have thought, that there some overwhelming reason why the law should be bent in his favour," Dr Cullen said.

Dr Cullen, who is also a historian, labelled Irving's views as "distasteful" and based on "extrordinarily tenuous logic".

Dr Cullen was angry that Irving had insinuated the Government was being manipulated by a small group of people

"Underlying that is that long historical paranoia about some notion there is some Jewish conspiracy to run European civilisation. It is just vomit inducing, that was the background to what happened in the 1930s and 1940s."

Irving was wrong to believe he did not need permission to visit New Zealand due to his previous deportation from another country.

If he did come, Dr Cullen was not too concerned about the damage Irving would do.

"The expression of his views would be distasteful, but I am sure we could counter that, some of us, by very powerful arguments in the opposite direction."

The local Jewish community has linked the most recent attack on a Jewish cemetery to the recent refusal of New Zealand authorities to grant Irving a visa to speak in this country.

Irving today told National Radio he did not know why his name was being linked to the case, he felt smeared, and he was keen for the perpetrators to be caught.

He said it was possible "right wing lunatics" could have committed the crime, but it also could have been the Israeli secret service Mossad trying to create trouble in New Zealand after the sentencing last month of suspected Israeli spies in a passport fraud ring. - NZPA



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Steven Sedley writes a letter on Mr Irving and free speech | The name rings a bell
Jailed gang leaders defer to Israelis jailed by NZ, says paper. Mossad autopsy on bungled NZ operation: graves desecration was unplanned

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